9 Tips for New Bloggers

 

 

8 tips for new bloggersWelcome to the wonderful world of blogging! Blogs are a means of expressing yourself, sharing your knowledge, introducing yourself to the blogging community as well as being active on the social sites. It seems as if almost everyone has a blog these days and trying to develop readership and a community around the blog is not a build it and they will come. Any experienced blogger will let you in on that secret where it takes a lot of work and patience to grow your blog. However, the growth along the way is very rewarding with the people that you meet, the customers that you serve, the mentoring and the ability to develop a strong voice and acceptance in the blogging community makes the journey that much more satisfying.

8 Tips for New Bloggers

1.Define Purpose. The purpose of your blog defines why you are here and what you hope to accomplish. Whether you are blogging to drive business, personal or for your employer, the purpose needs to be established so that you are clear what you are doing here. It helps to provide direction as well as guidance as you enter a very structured but yet supportive community.

2. Establish Goals. The goals can vary as they do not have to only be goals that are only obtained via measurement tools. Establishing goals such as a consistent schedule, creating an editorial calendar, writing ahead are all goals that, if they are feasible for you and also ones that are attainable should be created. In blogging, there are some peaks and valleys and having some albeit small accomplishments are helpful to keep you focused on the reasons why you are blogging.

3. Select Platform, Theme and Create Identity. There are many platforms out there that all serve the same purpose of housing the blog but, they are all cater to their own user base. While some allow for further customization than others, make it your own with a piece of you reflected. A blog that is well designed, laid out creates a friendly atmosphere that welcomes readers and allows them to focus in on the content but yet provides them with an experience that is unique to you and the blog.

4. Describe Blog. Readers coming to your blog need to know what the blog is about so that they know what to expect. Your industry, topic as well as perspective/writing style need to be memorable. People do not automatically subscribe to a blog when they first land on it. They have to know what is in it for them to keep coming back and making the decision to subscribe. It is so inviting to stray from your core topic, industry to drive traffic, however these are borrowed eyes and not necessarily the ones that you are targeting. Create an about page that answers why they need to come back for each article and be a part of your blogging community.

5. Define Audience. Who are you writing to/for? It is nice to think that you want everyone to read the articles and while we want to believe this, there has to be a set targeted group that you are looking to introduce the blog to. For some it is the small business owner, a restaurant owner, a consultant, bloggers who need a customized platform or broader with SEO tips. Broad is not always best strengths in numbers does not always apply here. Starting with seeking a small audience that is more focused and growing it from there has worked for many.

6. Create a Workable Schedule and Stick with It. As a new blogger, if you commit to writing to every day, do so. If this is to aggressive, then select specific days that you will blog and if you add in extra days great but, do not stray from the schedule. When you are just starting and not blogging every day, you may test certain days to see when the audience is focused and most receptive to determine the best days for you to blog. Remember, they are not waiting for your post to appear, but, when it does appear, they notice.

7. Schedule Time to Build A Community. This is off the blog. Be active online through reading other blogs, commenting but also managing your profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. When you are active and people start seeing you sharing their work, that you are a real person and not bot like, they take notice. In the 3 years that I have been active on Twitter, the past year has afforded an opportunity to explore different interests, gain authority within different communities and earn the support of many well established bloggers.

8. Be Grateful, Humble, and Thankful. This one cannot be stressed enough. It is not always easy to respond to every tweet of an article, every comment right away or visit every blog that links to your articles however, even if “late” take the time to thank for retweets, mentions, visiting the profiles of new people who have shared, commented, etc. We see a lot where people are complaining that people are not responsive to them but the reality is that they are not always responsive to their own community. A thank you goes a long way and starts a conversation. Be proud of what you write but remember to focus on the people and not the numbers in the traffic.

9. Seek  Help When Struggling. We all struggle in blogging. It seems flawless so many of the times with the popular bloggers however, everyone struggles. Remember that. When you have it the wall, feel you have nothing to write (which is really an excuse for feeling the thoughts you have are not worthy of the attention you want) tap into your resources of your community (the importance of building a strong and solid group of people around you is evident here) as they have been there, could be there right now but will be able to lend a hand to get you back on track and give you the confidence you need to get the fingers dancing once again.

We all were new. I am only 2 years blogging at this point and I still consider myself new. We all struggle, we all want to be at the top of our game and have drones of people flock to our blog each day. That is not unique to you but how you get there is. There is a person behind each article and let person be expressed in the blog by reinforcing your strengths and building upon your weaknesses. People will read and subscribe to a blog that is useful to them and at the same time is from someone is going all in and gives 100% effort to the online community.

What do you have to add that has worked for you?

photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

  • Raquel Rothe

    Good article and some great points brought out to maintain and grow your blog in many areas.  Thank you for sharing!

    • Raquel

      Thank you! Blogging has gotten so much more competitive and continues to change. Everyone is trying to grab our attention and develop an unique point of view with limited time for us reading. Audiences come and go and return with consistency and a likability factor through communicating. It is more than just hitting post and moving on.

  • I’m a subscriber to your blog. Posts like this one are the reason I subscribe. Thanks for this information. It’s so helpful. I’m tweeting this and sharing it in a ning called We Teach. I’m sure my friends in the subgroup, We Teach We’re Bloggers will like it.

    • Michelle

      Thank you so much. Blogs have changed over the past 2 years and how we as people look at them is different than the search engines. Blogs rank better than static pages because they have the fresh, relevant content that the search engines look for but also with the social signals playing a role (although the twitter/google split has links there now at no-follow again) there is more to think about.

      As a new or newer blogger it sometimes is hard enough to get a post up and then to have to think about how it will rank while building readership starts to be come overwhelming. However, it starts with the connections that you make as they are resources to learn.

      I cannot thank you enough for sharing this with your Ning network and also being a subscriber.

      • You are very welcome! Your blog is uplifting, inspirational, and helpful.
        Thanks for writing it.

  • Thanks Suzanne! I feel like I’m bumping around in the
    dark, trying to learn everything I can about blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn, ect.
    The problem I find I’m having is generating the audience I’m trying to reach.
    It feels like a full time job right now. I need to establish a workable
    schedule for blogging and building a community. I’m hoping it will get easier
    as time goes by.

    • Alisa

      It is a full time job sometimes. Just when you start to build the network there is always more to do. But, as you said, it does get easier. You are able to manage the time better as when you have your core connections, you are able to expand through their connections and are not always just looking around for where to connect. Now this is not to say that you may not spend hours and hours communicating and building the network through your connections but at that point, you make the choice to spend the time and not feel that you have to.

  • If there’s one thing I would like to add is: don’t be scared. Don’t be scared to speak your mind, don’t be scared to piss people off, don’t be scared to give a different opinion on something everyone seem to be thinking alike. A blog should also be a chance to voice your very personal opinion, the ultimate expression of freedom of speech in its rawest form. Don’t be afraid of what others might think about what YOU think.

    • Gabriele

      As always, you come in with the show stopper! Yes, do not be afraid. We want to be read and highly regarded in our community which leads to wanting to please. Some articles will bring in record traffic, others will bomb and leave you running away from blogging. It happens. What you can never fault yourself or the audience for is when you speak your mind – popular or unpopular opinion.

      Thank you for bringing this up. You continue to be my fav Italian … wait, 2nd, my son is my 1st. =-)

  • Deedee Wills

    What a great post!  I totally agree with your tips.  I started blogging in January and have become a serious addict!  I agree that building a good blog is about staying consistent and vigilant.  I strive to blog about subjects that bring value to my readers.  

    Mrs. Wills
    Kindergarten

    • Deedee

      Thank you! I have to go and check out your blog, so I thank you for adding the link so I can do so easily. 

      Blogging is fun, rewarding but yet challenging. The challenges sometimes make it feel like a chore. It is not a chore, it is something that is an expression of you and the good news is that we get to share our thoughts with thousands.

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